You must have two days at the least in your hands before you pack your bag to Wayanad, the district built of mounts and hills and bordered with enchanting waterfalls and lush green tea estates. From history to nature, from waterfall to off road safari, Wayanad surely has it all. It was to devour this all, that we, planned our trip to this haven of nature.
It is nearly five hours journey to Wayanad and we started around half past ten at night. We tailored the trip in such a way that we could start the following day by paying witness to sunrise at Kurumbalakotta, a hill station. Here, I have to admit the truth that never once before have I witnessed a sunrise in detail nor have I captured it in my lens. The reason behind this is plainly simple. I’m just not a morning person. I prefer sleeping in my blanket than getting up and hitting a point to watch the sun rise from its occult hideaway. So, when this opportunity sprang up I was in my best spirits. I have seen and captured enormous number of sunsets in my life and have always been a devout fan of the fantastic fiery shades that take over the sky during those hours. Apart from the whole prospect of watching the first beam of sun hit the dark and lonely earth, there was another factor which made my inner spirit dance in jubilation.
It takes a hike to reach the top of Kurumbalakotta where the view point is situated. To tread the hill when its dark made me excited. The bus snaked through the sharp hair pin bends. Tall trees stood on either side of the road, bathing in the light coming from vehicles. They stood touching the sky like a carcass of a gone time. Sleep was slowly taking over me and after much battling I succumbed to it. It was half past three in the morning when we finally came to a halt at the trekking spot. We made it to there an hour earlier so we decided to stretch our body and take a rest before we defeated the tall mount with our agility and tempo. We got out of the bus at half past four and moved to the entrance where the path began. Few questions puzzled us.
1.Would we be able to see the sunrise in full glory?
2. Will we reach to the top before the time?
And most importantly, 3, how long is this path?
My heart lurched with spirit, together we started our ascend. The path was wide and bordered with trees and shrubs on either side. After a little distance, the uneven path gave way to well built road. The path crouched and took sharp turns. Heart was starting to wake up from its slumber. It beat heavily against the ribs as lungs craved for rest and air. Legs were getting tired and it refused to move. After every few steps I stopped to catch some air and waited till the poor heart returned to its slow pace. I have to say, as I climbed on and on, I remembered the face of Edmund Hilary and all those people who conquered Everest. There, standing on the dark road, I could appreciate the effort they must have taken and the hardships they must have gone through. Hats off people!!
Just when I stopped for another lungful of air, I raised my head upwards and for a moment I was spellbound. In the complete darkness, thousands of stars looked down upon us from the distant sky. The stars dotted the sky without leaving an inch of space. What a refreshing sight. I climbed the hill, looking at those smiling silver dots and all the aches and pains just went away. With every turn, we hoped to see the path coming to an end, but it kept tempting us like the path to heaven, promising to be there but not unveiling before the right moment.
It took us one hour to finally set our foot in the heaven guarded by the angles of woods. I quickly moved to a seat made by bamboos. There were few tiny tea shops there and few fed themselves a cup of hot tea which the body so badly called for. I couldn’t draw my eyes away from the sparkling starts which seems to have enumerated now. We were indeed blessed with considerable amount of luck, because we could see couple of shooting starts making their way through the white dotted sky. They looked like a messenger, hurrying to convey something maybe to an estranged beloved or to a distraught mother who was waiting for her child. The hiking somewhat toppled my stomach and it gave a lurch threatening to throw up. I prayed with all my might for it to settle down and not put a blemish over the much awaited peregrination.
While, we waited for the supreme guest to wake up from the slumber and get ready for the show, we engaged in a talk with the man who owned the tea shop. His family resides there on top of the hill. His kids goes to school after climbing down the hill each day. They need to get down if they are in need of any commodities. They however talked about an alternate route which will get them down faster than the way we climbed. However his one word gave us a moment of uneasiness. He taught us about the thick fog in the area which may sometime hinder the view we so craved to see. It can delay the guest from showing up which means all the effort would go in vein.
We however was positive and waited for some more time. Once I took some rest, my tummy returned back to normal and I was glad. We sat talking about shooting starts, the mysteries of nature and so on when we heard a cry from a distant corner. “The guest is coming up!” the voice said. I sprang up from my seat, pulled my camera from the bag, removed the lens cap and even adjusted the setting and moved to a corner so that I could see it in full glory. Slowly, the clouds seemed to part. Like a jaded boy, a ray of golden peeped from behind the white mushy clouds, followed by million others. The light was soon spreading, bathing everything in radiance. It got brighter and brighter and brighter but the supreme guest was nowhere to be seen? Where is he? What’s hindering his ingress?
Soon the day broke and a marvellous sight unravelled before us. A bed made up of white angelic clouds. It joined hands with one another and hid the ground from the view. When the bright golden rays hit these clouds, they shined and radiated more vibrantly. What an unique sight for the eyes! We stood an hour savouring the enchanting sight but the supereme guest still was nowhere to be found. When time started trickling by, we bid adieu to the clouds and turned our back, ready for another round of trekking. We walked two steps and a delightful voice shouted; “Here he is! The supereme guest has come. Look everybody, there he has come!” Happiness knew no bounds. We all rushed back to the point and there he was painted pink against the white backdrop. Glimmering in all sovereignty at its subjects, the poise of a just ruler and the grandeur of a mighty warrior. Oh my dear sun, how many tales of your gallantry have I heard! Of your valiant disposition, of your resplendent nature. Oh sun, indeed you are the magnanimous ruler who never disregards his subjects.